Koonda Lat Pipe Bridge Crossing Merri Creek

Koonda Lat Pipe Bridge Crossing Merri Creek

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Merri Parklands Resolution and Progress on a Merri Parade Crossing

Advice from Rucker Councillor Trent McCarthy is that VicTrack and Darebin are settling on a form of peppercorn leasing arrangement for the land on the corner of St Georges Rd and Merri Parade. While it seems strange that this site, remote from rail corridors, continues to be owned by the state railway, this is good news. Hopefully the arrangement will allow Darebin to improve the presentation of this gateway site in the coming years as part of the re-landscaping of St Georges Rd, following the Melbourne Water infrastructure upgrades. So, with effusive gratitude to our representatives on Council and in State Parliament (Trent McCarthy, Steven Tsitas, Fiona Richardson - thank you), we can dial this one down to 'resolved.'

There's more encouraging news from Fiona Richardson's office on the Merri Street Crossing; Minister Luke Donnellan has responded to Fiona's representation on our behalf, advising VicRoads have acknowledged the protracted safety issues around the crossing from Union Street to the bike path and are keen to engage with Council on a safer crossing solution. It's likely this will be a refuge island, but I hold out some hopes for lights to assist motorists, cyclists and pedestrians alike, particularly with a major bike route needing to be redirected through the area while Melbourne Water does its thing on St George's Rd. Darebin Council have set aside some funding in the next financial year to assist with state road projects across the City, so hopefully this will be an early contender.

There's also an undertaking to upgrade the St George's Rd signage, warning large trucks not to enter Merri Parade and get trapped by the rail bridge. Hopefully this will help reduce the general carnage!

We'll advise once all this is nailed down, but for now, this is positive progress. Thanks to everyone in various levels of government, statutory bodies and community for lending your support to a remarkably complex local issue, which we hope to see resolved very soon.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Rushall Reserve: On-site consultation

Locals met with (brave) officers from Yarra Council on the proposed shared path to connect Rushall Station with Koonda Lat bike bridge and the Capital City Trail. There were difficult conversations amid a divided group on a divisive issue.

For more info, see the Yarra consultation page at http://yarraconversation.com.au/rushallreservedesign , plus community pages for and against: https://sharerushallreserve.wordpress.com and https://www.change.org/p/yarra-city-council-keep-rushall-reserve-free-from-development/u/13459284

Friday, May 6, 2016

Rushall Reserve Bike Path, Merri Parade, Merri Creek Parklands

The hot-button issue of the moment appears to be the City of Yarra's proposed connection of the Capital City Trail shared pedestrian and bicycle path through Rushall Reserve, from Rushall Station down to Koonda Lat bike bridge. From the extensive signage that's popped up in North Fitzroy, it's clear many locals are upset about the increased activity on site, while others are equally keen to see the project go ahead as a long-awaited local connector along the Creek's green corridor.

The proposed plan includes floating sections to avoid the roots of established trees, and a safety fence to separate the rest of the reserve from the shared path: the full size plan is available for viewing here,
Whichever way you lean, it's important to inform yourself and make your opinion known to the City of Yarra. The current plan is available to view online here, and the "Yarra Conversation" page invites you to submit your view online: http://yarraconversation.com.au/rushallreservedesign .

Importantly, there is a consultation meeting with Council Officers tomorrow morning (Saturday, 7 May) from 10am to 12pm, on site at Rushall Reserve. There are already demarcation lines helpfully painted along the grassy embankment demonstrating where the proposed path will run: I suggest everyone concerned visits the Rushall Reserve for a good look, then comes along to provide input tomorrow.

Merri Parade Crossing

Delighted to advise we've had some very welcome advocacy from Rucker Councillors Steven Tsitas and Trent McCarthy for the proposed pedestrian and bicycle crossing from the Kunda Lat Bridge path, across Merri Parade to Union St, Northcote and on to Darebin's "shimmy route" for local cyclists. We're advised all Darebin councillors have consequently supported a motion to establish a fund to stimulate State road projects and improve the amenity of neighbourhoods across the City of Darebin in the draft 2016-17 budget. If this makes it into the final budget, then Darebin will have some incentive funding to offer to VicRoads to assist with prioritising projects such as the Merri Parade crossing. We're sitting tight for now, but hope to report some positive progress from these developments very soon.

Merri Creek Parkland

The office of Member for Northcote, Fiona Richardson MP advise us that VicTrack and Council are continuing their talks about how the land adjacent to St George's Road and Merri Parade will be owned, governed, leased and so forth. Nothing revelatory to report as yet, so again, we will sit tight and await developments.